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Nikki (Guardians of the Galaxy) (Marvel Comics)

Nikki


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Nikki is a member of Marvel’s *original* Guardians of the Galaxy. This was the Bronze Age  team operating in the far future after an alien invasion of the solar system. Nikki joined the team in 1976.

For much more context, your should first read our team profile for the Guardians of the Galaxy of the XXXIst century.


Background

  • Real Name: Nicholette.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’8″ Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Orange Hair: None (appears to be flame).
  • Note: Some early descriptions of her state that her hair is shaped to resemble flames. But in the GotG series it is clearly composed of actual flame. So I’m assuming this is a minor retcon .


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Powers and Abilities

Nikki is a member of a genetically engineered offshoot of humanity. These were adapted for survival in the harsh conditions of the planet Mercury. Mercurians have the ability to see in intense light, and a high degree of resistance to heat.

Nikki’s regular body temperature is around 750°F (400°C). Her excess body heat released through her pores on their head, giving the appearance of flaming hair, but she can exert enough control over it to allow contact with others, although not for any length of time.

Her hair is actually flame, caused by her sweat’s exposure to air, and she has recently manifested the latent Mercurian power which allows her to project it over short distances.

Skills and gear

Nikki is a highly agile combatant, a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, and a marksman with an assortment of firearms.

All Guardians wear the star-shaped communications device. It also allows them to access their ships teleportation system. If operating in a vacuum they also have access to Trans-Suits, which are even worn by some of those who can survive unaided in space. This is because it allows them to use their Guardian Star for communication.


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History

Born in the late 30th Century on the human colony on Mercury, Nikki was 11 when she saw her parents murdered by the Badoon. She was the sole survivor of the Genocide.

Escaping her doomed world, she managed to survive alone in space for seven years. That lasted until she was found by the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had been instrumental in the defeat of the Badoon. She joined the team on their travels on the Captain America starship. She began a relationship with Charlie-27, during this time.

Their journeys:

  • Brought them into conflict with the enormous space creature Karanada, the emptiness that devours.
  • Landed them on a planet that turned out to be an insane asylum populated by a variety of aliens.
  • Led to encountering the planet-sized Topographical Man.
  • Brought them to Aleta. They discovered the truth about her and Starhawk, when her father, Ogord the Reaver, caught up with them seeking revenge.

The Captain America was destroyed in battle against the Reavers, but the team recovered the space station Dry Dock, where they found their new ship, the Freedom’s Lady.

Korvac

They encountered the Thor of Earth-616  when he was dragged to their time period by the cyborg Korvac. The Guardians allied with Thor in battling Korvac and his Minions of Menace, although Korvac evaded them.

Korvac’s escape led him to Galactus’ vacant ship, where he interfaced his systems with it, massively empowering him. He renamed himself Michael the Enemy, and travelled back to the 20th Century. His goal was to kill the young Vance Astro in an attempt to negate the formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Returning to his 20th Century, the Guardians joined with the Avengers in searching for and battling Korvac. His agenda changed when he reached the past, and he became a threat to the universe as a whole. When the two teams faced him, he killed most of them. But, betrayed by his love, he chose to give up his own life, returning those he had slain to life.

During their months-long stay in the past the Guardians were all granted honorary Avengers membership. Vance again met his younger self. He took the opportunity to unleash the boy’s latent powers, despite his team mates’ protests, in hopes of ensuring he wouldn’t grow up making the same mistakes. This event caused the divergence in their timelines.

The Guardians soon returned to their 31st Century. It is sometime after this event that Nikki’s relationship with Charlie became more platonic.

Korvac returns

They made another trip to the past. The Guardians were trying to capture the energies released by Korvac’s death, before they reached the 31st Century. If they did, they would trigger the original empowerment of Korvac in a time paradox.

This quest led them to encounter the Fantastic Four in the 20th Century, Thor (Dargo) in the 26th Century, and the Silver Surfer in the 28th Century.

They proved unable to capture the energies in these timelines . They eventually caught up to them decades before their own time, where the energies had inhabited Korvac’s father. Knowing the Guardians would prove a threat to his son, the older man battled them. He was killed when his newly-born son absorbed the powers, remembering his past life.

The Guardians only won with aid from the Ancient One (formerly Dr. Strange, and his disciple, Krugarr, the current Sorcerer Supreme). The Ancient One returned the power to Galactus, restoring the child to a normal infant. They returned Korvac to his mother, who swore her son would grow up to take his revenge upon them.

The quest for shield, part 1

Returning to their own time period, Vance recognised a picture in one of Yondu’s holy texts as being of Captain America’s shield. Thus, the Guardians embarked on a search for the artifact.

They followed a lead on a remote planet. There they discovered hints that they were not the only ones searching for the shield. Then the Guardians were attacked by Taserface, a scout for the Stark, who claimed the world as being under their control.

They defeated him, but reinforcements soon arrived. The Guardians soon found themselves in conflict with the Stark. Vance’s suit was torn in the conflict, but he survived the exposure with minimal damage. Martinex soon created a new suit laced with adamantium .

The battle resulted in the destruction of the Freedom’s Lady, and the splitting of Starhawk and Aleta. With the arrival of Firelord, the Guardians were able to drive off the Stark. Then they took one of the Stark’s ships for their own, naming it the Captain America II.

The quest for shield, part 2

They eventually reached the planet where the shield resided, an abandoned world run by the computer system Main Frame, the consciousness of the former Avenger, Vision. They met the mercenary group Force, who had also been searching for the shield, and were forced to compete against them in competitions assigned by Main Frame, to determine which team was more worthy of the shield.

Nikki was faced with the Snark, Scanner. She got the better of him, but lost the contest since her bloodthirsty hatred of reptiles drove her to try and kill her downed opponent.

When the results of the other competitions were a draw, Vance faced Interface, the leader of Force. But initially, he proved unable to beat him. Interface claimed the shield, but was mystified when it didn’t seem to give him the powers he was expecting it to. Vance took advantage of his opponent’s reaction to take the shield from him.

Main Frame teleported Force light years away, announcing Vance worthy of holding the shield. Vance assumed the identity of Major Victory.

Lost colony

Main Frame provided them the location to the lost colony of human mutants who had left Earth a millennium before. The Guardians set out to find them. On the journey they came across a derelict ship, with unusual life signs. Exploration of it woke the suspended Malevolence, who attacked them, focusing her rage on Aleta, who she claimed was her rival as matriarch to a child.

When she sensed Starhawk, seeing to Martinex in the medical bay, Malevolence made for him. But when he convinced her that she was awakened too early, she departed.

Arriving at Haven, they found a human population ruled over by the mutant elite, led by Rancor. The Guardians allied with the resistance, clashing with the mutants. Meanwhile Starhawk awakened the Phoenix Force, which resided within the dying planet. He provided a new host in the form of one of the resistance members.

The new Phoenix helped the Guardians evacuate the populace to Main Frame’s world. He then accepted being placed in suspended animation, with his powers held in check. Rancor and the surviving mutants also managed to escape the destruction of the planet.

The shapechanging teenage resistance member, Replica, stowed away with the Guardians, and was soon accepted as a member, despite Nikki’s loud objections.

Universalite

Responding to a distress call from Firelord, they found him being beaten by Overkill, the rebuilt Stark formerly known as Taserface. Following the fight, after Firelord had left, the team were confronted by the Spirit of Vengeance. This entity resided on the nearby planet Sarka, where he fought the Universal Church of Truth. He had mistaken them for church reinforcements.

This was exacerbated when the Universalite Replica recognised him and attacked. Calling a truce when the real reinforcements arrived, the Guardians allied with the Spirit. They agreed to investigate the Church.

Travelling to Homeworld, the centre of the Universalite faith, they learn that the embodiment of their faith (and genetics programs) Protégé, has come of age. Contests are underway to discover who will be his matriarch, also allowing him to observe and mimic the powers of the candidates.

The Guardians were attacked before they can reach Homeworld, by Force, who had been forced to obey Malevolence. Nikki again faced Scanner, but was knocked unconscious, and would have been killed if not for a truce. Force agreed to team-up with them against Malevolence. During the battle, Replica was revealed as a Skrull, and Nikki felt justified in her hatred of the girl.

They soon reached Homeworld, where Aleta challenged Malevolence for the role of matriarch to Protégé. Aleta gained the upper hand, until Starhawk reabsorbed her, departing quickly. Replica decided to stay with Protégé. Protégé reluctantly allowed the others to leave, sending his forces to find Starhawk.

Earth

Unable to locate Starhawk, the Guardians revoked his membership. They returned to Earth, which they found in ruins. After reuniting with Tarin, and her team of guerrilla fighters, the Commandeers, in New York, the Guardians learned that the population have become addicted to realitee-vee, a holographic television emitting a narcotic gas.

The Guardians and Tarin’s forces took the fight to the Punishers street gang. These guarded the technology behind it for the few remaining Badoon on the planet, who controlled the system.

During the conflict the Guardians gained new team member, Talon, and met Commandeer member Hollywood (formerly known as Wonder Man). When Vance’s costume was ruptured by a bullet, Hollywood got him to a medical bay in time to stabilize him.

Then, Talon recruited the help of his mentor, Krugarr, the Sorcerer Supreme, to help. Krugarr created a preservative magic field around Vance, allowing him to exist without his costume.

Following this, most of the Guardians decided to stay on Earth and help out fixing things. Martinex, however, believed that the Guardians could do more good on a larger scale. He left to form another team, the Galactic Guardians, with the help of Main Frame. Vance took over as team leader.

Split teams

When Rancor’s mutants appeared on Earth, they again came into conflict with the Guardians. Tracking them back to Madripoor, the Guardians attacked them. The battle which was complicated when Starhawk returned, darker than before. He briefly allied with the mutants, under Mindscan’s sway. The battle ended when the mutants were mysteriously teleported away.

When the Keeper (formerly the Silver Surfer) arrived on Earth to protect it from Galactus, he discovered that Galactus had deceived him as to his destination. The Big G was actually travelling to one of Centauri IV’s neighbouring planets. Enlisting the Guardians to help him, they confronted Galactus.

With Yondu’s permission, the Keeper teleported the aquatic natives of Galactus’ target to Centauri IV. Meanwhile Firelord and the Guardians delayed Galactus. The Keeper then faced Galactus, beating his weakened enemy, before preparing to put an end to him. He was stopped by Eon, who convinced him to spare him, and help Galactus feed without loss of life.

Keeper became Galactus’s herald again, although on a more equal footing. When Yondu discovered surviving Centaurians living beneath the surface, he elected to stay with his people, leaving the Guardians.

More time travel

When Charlie-27 came up with a plan to stop the Badoon from ever invading Earth, The Guardians used Drydock to return to the 20th Century of Earth-616. They did not tell Vance until they‘re on the way.

(It’s unclear how they expected this to effect their future since the two realities had diverged prior to this point. It is even more unclear how it later managed to have actually changed things).

When Talon came down with a hereditary Inhuman disease in transit, their first port of call in the 20th Century was Attilan, on the moon. There they encountered the Inhuman royal family, and both groups were attacked by dark doppelgängers of themselves.

Travelling to Earth, the Guardians arrived at Avengers’ Mansion in time to battle an invasion by a Masters of Evil team. These attacked while the Avengers were away on a mission, and again, both teams were beset by evil doppelgängers. Among the Masters was Yellowjacket (Rita DeMarr), who had been forced to join the team. She turned on them, helping the Guardians beat them.

Into the present past of the Badoon

Leaving Vance at Avengers mansion due to his objection to the plan, Charlie, Nikki and Talon travelled to the Badoon homeworld. They planned to destroy it. The Badoon emperor offered to promise not to invade Earth if they could beat his champion. He gave them the location of the Badoon birthing hatcheries as collateral. They accepted the challenge.

After an internal conflict, during which Nikki lost her temper and burns Charlie’s hair off, Charlie won the right to fight the battle. Unfortunately, a Badoon warrior had been visited by the Captain Universe power, and so Charlie didn’t do well.

Vance, after meeting with Captain America, contacted Dr. Strange for help. Strange took Vance on a trip through other dimensions to reach the Badoon homeworld. He arrived just in time to save Charlie. They got away, although Yondu’s knife, which he had given to Charlie, was left behind.

During their stay, Starhawk had separated from them as Aleta and Stakar fought for control of their shared body. Aleta won. She returned Stakar’s essence to his infant form, continuing the cycle of his existence. Aleta rejoined the team as the new Starhawk.

The dread Dormammu

Returning to the 30th Century, they discovered that they had a pair of stowaways. One was Yellowjacket, who joined the team. The other was Dormammu, who merged with his contemporary self, becoming more powerful.

The empowered Dormammu attacked them. The Guardians of the Galaxy battled him, alongside the Galactic Guardians and the Ancient One. The battle destroyed DryDock, and saw Dormammu kill the Ancient One. But it was eventually won, when Talon aided Krugarr in the sorceries necessary to vanquish Dormammu.

The Galactic Guardians gave the Guardians of the Galaxy their ship, Icarus. Then the Guardians of the Galaxy returned to Earth.

Back to Earth

Returning to Earth, they found the surviving Commandeers, captives of Rancor’s mutants. Battling them again, they discovered that the mutants had been teleported away on the last meeting by Doctor Doom, who forced them to serve him. Chafing under his command, Rancor eventually turns on him, with Doom eventually forced to flee.

The Guardians beat the mutants, who escaped, and Starhawk destroyed the Realitee-Vee devices for good.

Deciding to help free the Inhumans from their enslavement, the Guardians travelled to the moon. There, they were opposed by an elite group of Inhumans (Composite, Wormhole, Stupor, Phobia and Imprint). These willingly served the dictator of the Inhumans colony, Loki, who had spent decades selectively breeding and holding gladiatorial bouts to prepare them for the conquest of Asgard.

The Guardians arrived as he was preparing to lead them to Asgard. They helped Woden, son of Thor, defeat them. Loki and the Inhumans were banished to the Black Canyon.

From Beyond

When Aleta announced that they needed to confront the threat of the Beyonder, they travelled to Centauri IV to request Yondu’s help. But he was resistant due to their leaving his dagger with the Badoon in the past. This had caused repercussions that left his present Centauri IV an inhospitable world, with Centauri-Badoon hybrids posing a threat to his people.

The Guardians then encountered the returned Stakar. The initial conflict was only halted when the Hawk God appeared and joined them at the hand to force them to work together. As a result Starhawk and Aleta travelled to the past, where they recovered the dagger, fixing the problems.

Before they could return, however, the other Guardians were taken by the Beyonder to help him oppose Protégé, Malevolence and Mephisto. The Beyonder underestimated Protégé’s power, and the child copied some of his powers.

His growing abilities drew the attention of the cosmic powers, and Protégé and the Beyonder were judged by the Living Tribunal.

Mephisto and Malevolence were banished to an unknown location by Protégé, who had learned they planned to manipulate him. The Beyonder was banished to his own realm. Protégé was imprisoned for eternity in a Celestial hourglass. The Guardians were returned to their ship.

Where is Charlie ?

Back in their own universe, the Guardians were immediately ambushed by Rancor’s Lieutenants. These had gained access to their ship and sabotaged it. Taken captive, they were transported to the newly named Haven II, where Inhumans, who had been enslaved by Rancor and her mutants, had been taken.

The Guardians were then separated and pitted against mutants. Nikki faced Shaddo, and would have killed her had Vance not found her and prevented her from doing so.

Before he could lead the Guardians to properly deal with Rancor, Talon used his magic to teleport them back to the Icarus, and far away from Haven II. They left without Charlie, who hadn’t been on the planet with them. Talon refused to tell them why he’d done so, and became more sullen and aggressive.

The Guardians learned that Charlie had been imprisoned in the infamous Stockade, accused of being the intergalactic serial killer, Ripjak. They recruited Cuchulain as a temporary member to help them break Charlie out. Despite the prison having Drax the Destroyer as a secret weapon, the Guardians succeeded, and when Sidestep secretly betrayed Rancor by giving them clues, they also cleared his name.

They then set out to find the real Ripjak.

The Hunt for Ripjak

Their search led them to the quarantined Mars. There they discovered that Ripjak was actually the last of the Martians, who had been wiped out by the being known as Bubonicus. Ripjak was actually travelling the universe battling the spread of Bubonicus’ powers.

Forming an alliance with Ripjak, despite his team mates’ objections, Vance joined Ripjak to hunt Bubonicus. Vance’s suit made him the only Guardian who could resist Bubonicus power. They were also joined by the High Evolutionary, and the three tracked Bubonicus to the planet Sanctuary, where they confronted him.

They managed to get the better of him. But Bubonicus took advantage of Vance and Ripjak’s difference of opinion over whether to arrest or kill him, and escaped. Disgusted with Vance, Ripjak followed Bubonicus on his own. The High Evolutionary followed him after saving those natives he could.

When he returned to the Icarus, Vance discovered that the other Guardians have decided to hold an election. They took personal time beforehand, to allow tempers to cool. Nikki and Charlie took advantage of the time to renew their relationship.

When the Guardians regrouped, minus Yellowjacket who had returned to her own era, and Talon, who was again studying with Krugarr, they held the election for leader, with Charlie winning.

Attack Mars

Charlie’s first command led them back to the 21st Century, with the returned Martinex, and Hollywood. The objective was to halt the Martian invasion before it ever happened.

They succeeded, but the Inhuman Wormhole, who had escaped alone from the Black Canyon, gained his revenge by opening a second warp as they were returning to their own time. This left them to crash on an unidentified planet in an unidentified time period.


Personality

Mercurial and spirited, Nikki is the most impulsive and flamboyant of the Guardians. She is happiest when showing off in the spotlight. She has a particular dislike for all reptilian races, as a reaction to the Badoon wiping out her people, and is particularly bloodthirsty when dealing with them. She can be ruthless with any opponents, having no real compunction against killing.

While friendly with most of the other Guardians (except Starhawk, whom she finds too stuffy), Nikki took an instant dislike to Replica. This was only exacerbated when she discovered her to be a Skrull. She feels guilty about these reactions, but has not been able to control them.

For a long time she was the youngest member of the group. As such she often acted fairly childishly, enjoying their adventures to the fullest, but letting the others make the choices. This role as baby of the group may have affected her feelings when the younger Replica joined, but she has seemed to be growing out of this.


DC Universe History

The Badoon invasion occurs a century earlier. When the Guardians leave Earth, after finally driving the Badoon away, they rename themselves the Wanderers. Their travels are delayed when they stumble into a time warp, emerging almost a century later, where they encounter the Legion.

Having no real links to their previous time-period, they don’t bother using their crafts time travel technology to return there.

The colonies that some of the Guardians belonged to can stay as historical factors, which were mostly forgotten in the reconstruction years that followed the Badoons’ expulsion. Along with any other stuff that would have been on those planets at those times surviving the Badoon occupation.


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Nikki

Dex: 08 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Guardian of the Galaxy
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 019 HP: 040

Powers:
Energy Absorption: 09, Flame Being: 04, Flame Immunity: 05, Flame Project: 06, Flash: 08, Shade: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All powers except Energy Absorption are Contingent on Flame Being (-1).
  • Energy Absorption only works against Radiation (-1).
  • Flame Being is Always On by default, but may be turned off through concentration (-1).
  • Flame Project has No Range (-1).

Skills:
Acrobatics: 07, Thief: 05, Vehicles (Air, Space): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 09

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes, Shtick (Paired Firearms).

Connections:
Guardians of the Galaxy (High), Firelord (Low), Avengers (Low).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, SIH (Lizard-like races [Badoon, Skrulls, Snarks, etc.]).

Equipment:

  • She always has some kind of energy based firearms on her, either a gun (or pair of guns), or her blast knuckles (blasters built in to the knuckles of her gloves, which she eventually found too unwieldy). [BODY 05, Energy Blast: 07].
  • Guardian Star [BODY 05, Radio Communications: 40, Teleportation: 50, Bonuses & Limitations: If their current ship is unreachable or destroyed, Radio Communications is reduced to 20 AP, and Teleportation is lost].
  • Trans-Suit [BODY 08, Sealed Systems: 12].

Design notes

v1.1 was previously on WORG, done by John Walchle. The Energy Absorption and Thief are taken from there, although I can’t verify them from her appearances that I have read (I lack most of the stuff prior to the GotG series).

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, C. Bedford Crenshaw, John Walchle, G Michael Jacobs, David J Oakes, Sébastien Andrivet, Jackson.

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